[Dixielandjazz] Vocalists

David W. Littlefield dwlit at cpcug.org
Tue Feb 4 18:45:45 PST 2003

Some of the folks who don't particularly like to have
non-instrument-playing vocalists in the band seem to be forgetting that a
decent vocalist has considerable entertainment value for the more general
audience. Gives them something they can identify with, makes the band seem
more human, more approachable. The regret musicians may have is natural
since one can't play as many of one's favorite tunes.

I've been fortunate in having 2 terrific female vocs and a male voc. who
were very suitable for making CDs that would bear repeated listening
listening. I have access to a terrific band fem.voc. (as opposed to lead
voc.) who knows just what to do, always comes in when she's supposed to and
on pitch, and is great fun; but while everyone likes her for several tunes
per set, she doesn't have a voice that would suitable for featuring on a
CD; maybe a couple of tracks provided her voice had the correct amount of
reverb. All of these singers are/were loved by audiences, even the two with
no stage personality. 

I really get annoyed with CDs that have a lot of vocals by only-so-so or
less vocalists; really spoils the CD unless the band is truly great. So
often these folks might be ok for a vocal or two per *gig* set, when the
lyrics have intrinsic value, and like musicians' clams they go by quickly
and are forgotten if indeed they were noticed in the first place. But on
the CD the listener can tell they're rank amateurs. Apparently they've
never been forced to listen to themselves. Or maybe their egos are so great
but fragile no one will tell them they shouldn't be on the CD. 

David W. Littlefield, Piano, Guitar, Banjo, Washboard
Compiler: "Dixieland FB" (Bb, C); "30S-40S FB (Bb, C)"; "Gig Book"
http://cpcug.org/user/dwlit (Dixie playalong list, other tools)  
http://americanmusiccaravan.com (Fake Books, Chord Books, Bands)
eMail: dwlit at cpcug.org

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